I've seen a lot of rejections. Honestly, after a while they start to get a little funny. I mean, they all are saying the same thing, no matter how long or short. If you are new to the Query War, or if you are still stressing over rejection wording, let me play translator for a second.
"This isn't right for my list."
"Your work had an interesting premise, but I'm afraid I'm not interested enough to pursue the project."
"I regret to inform you that I will not be pursuing your project. I have many constraints on my time and must be extremely selective."
Note: Any variation of the three above examples should also be translated as "NO."
"Rest assured, we read every query carefully before deciding."
Translation: Don't query again or reply to this with a complaint.
"We are aware of the work it takes to write a book, and this rejection doesn't reflect on the value of your manuscript."
Translation: Please don't flame me for saying no, I'm not trying to hurt your feelings.
"Opinions vary widely in this business, I encourage you to keep trying."
Translation: Don't put all your hopes on me. I may be an awesome agent, but there are many others out there.
"The business is very subjective."
Translation: The business IS VERY SUBJECTIVE.
"Don't get discouraged." (And all variants.)
Translation: I know it's a hard business, but the only way to find success is to keep trying.
Okay, so when you're reading your rejections, now you know what they say. You don't have to pour over them for any hidden gems of advice. Unless you get a personalized rejection, this is pretty much what every form is telling you—no matter the length.
It's not so bad, is it?
Full Translation: No. Don't get mad at us. It's not you, it's me. Keep trying! Best regards, Every Agent
If you have any other phrases you'd like translated, I'll be here all weekend.